Dug Springs Battle


This Site:

Civil War

Civil War Overview

Civil War 1861

Civil War 1862

Civil War 1863

Civil War 1864

Civil War 1865

Civil War Battles

Confederate Generals

Union Generals

Confederate History

Robert E. Lee

Civil War Medicine

Lincoln Assassination


Site Search

Civil War Links


Civil War Art

Revolutionary War

Mexican War

Republic of Texas


Winslow Homer

Thomas Nast

Mathew Brady

Western Art

Civil War Gifts

Robert E. Lee Portrait

Civil War Harper's Weekly, August 24, 1861

This 1861 newspaper has a cover illustration of President Abraham Lincoln. In addition the paper discusses important slavery issues of the day. It has a nice picture and article of Berdan's sharpshooters, and a dramatic illustration of the Battle of Dug Spring.

(Scroll Down to see the entire page, or Newspaper Thumbnails will take you to the page of interest)


Napoleon and Lincoln

Lincoln and Napoleon


Slavery and the Civil War

Bull Run Losses

Union Losses at Bull Run


Brooklyn Navy-Yard

Dug Springs

Battle of Dug Springs

Washington Chain Bridge

The Washington Chain Bridge

Colonel Berdan's Sharpshooters

Berdan's Sharpshooters

General Lee

Robert E. Lee

George McClellan

General McClellan and Staff

Dug Spring

The Battle of Dug Spring

Pirate Ship Battle

The St. Lawrence Pirate Battle

Soldier's Health

Soldier's Health

Cartoons and Advertisements

Cartoons and Advertisements



AUGUST 24, 1861.]




ON page 532 we publish a large picture of GENERAL M'CLELLAN AND HIS STAFF, from a group by Brady. Of General M'Clellan himself, on whom such hopes now rest, we gave a biographical sketch, with a portrait, two or three weeks since; we now borrow from the Herald the following memoranda of the three officers who constitute his

personal staff.


MAJOR WILLIAM FARQUHAR BARRY, chief of artillery, is a native of the city of New York, and is at present about forty years of age. He entered as a cadet at West Point in September, 1834, and graduated with honors in 1838. On the 1st of July of the same year he was breveted Second Lieutenant in the Fourth Artillery, transferred to the Second Artillery, and in the same year and month appointed Assistant Commissary of Subsistence. In August, 1842, he was appointed First Lieutenant, and Captain in July, 1852.

At the breaking out of the Mexican war Major Barry was First Lieutenant, and attached to the famous Ringgold battery, doing such effective service in that campaign. When it was found that more recruits for the artillery were needed, Lieutenant Barry was at once sent to this city to recruit, and this officer being so strict in his views as regards discipline and qualification, he only accepted a ratio of about five per cent. of those who offered, while the regular infantry service accepted forty per cent. Thus Lieutenant Barry missed nearly one half of the war. When he returned to Mexico, General Worth, of New York, appointed Lieutenant Barry on his staff, which position he held until our victorious army returned to the United States.

After the war Lieutenant Barry was stationed at different posts, Fort Hamilton among the rest, where he received his commission as captain. When the troubles in Kansas broke out he was at once sent to Fort Leavenworth, where he placed himself under the command of General Harney, and remained there for several years.

On the evacuation of Fort Sumter more and efficient artillery was needed at Fort Pickens, and the most reliable man the government could select was Captain Barry, who was instantly dispatched to that post, until it was reinforced by the energy of Colonel E. D. Keyes. On the 5th of July Barry and his battery left Fort Pickens in the steamer Cahawba; arrived at New York on Sunday, the 14th ; left that same evening by special train to Washington; made a requisition for extra horses while there, and joined the grand army of General McDowell on Wednesday, the 17th, at five o'clock P. M., about two hours after our troops had taken possession of Fairfax Court House and Fairfax Junction. Major Barry was assigned to the Fifth Division, commanded by Colonel Dixon S. Miles, and proceeding in that column to Centreville.

Major Barry was appointed on the staff of General McDowell, and acted as chief of artillery during the encampment at and about Centreville and on the day of the battle. His battery, in the mean time, was in command of Captain J. C. Tidball, kept as a reserve, with Colonel Miles's column, between Centreville and the extreme left, where Hunt's and Green's batteries were playing on the enemy to prevent General McDowell's troops from being attacked in the rear.


CAPTAIN VAN VLIET is a native of New York, and about forty-two years of age. He entered the West Point Academy as cadet in 1836, graduated 1840, and was breveted Second Lieutenant in the Third Artillery, July 1, 1840. In November, 1843, he was promoted to a First Lieutenancy, and acted as Professor of Mathematics at the Military Academy until November, 1847. In February, 1847, he was appointed Regimental Quarter-master, and subsequently Assistant Quarter-master. June 4, 1847, Lieutenant Van Vliet was promoted to a Captaincy, but still acting as Quarter-master. Under the administration of President Buchanan, during the disturbances at Utah, Captain Van Vliet was sent as a special commissioner. There being no regular conveyances, the Captain was compelled to ride on horseback all the way, alone and unattended. He accomplished his journey to Great Salt Lake City in an uncommon short time, and his famous ride was the subject of comment with every body. In President Buchanan's message to Congress on the subject which took Captain Van Vliet to the Mormon territory, the Commissioner was honorably mentioned as " Major Van Vliet."

On his return from Utah he was appointed Assistant Quarter-master-General at Leavenworth, which position he held until called upon by General McClellan to act in the same capacity on his own staff. From the previous career of Captain Van Vliet the brightest anticipations of the future may be made ; and it is safe to assert that the Quarter-master's Department could hardly have been intrusted in better hands, and speaks volumes for the wise selection of the popular young commander of the Department of Virginia.


CAPTAIN CLARK was born in the old Keystone State, about the year 1820, and is at present in the neighborhood of forty years of age. He entered at West Point, from Pennsylvania, in 1839, graduated in 1842, was breveted Second Lieutenant in 1843, and ordered in active service to the Second Artillery. Captain Clark went through the entire Mexican campaign, and in the official dispatches he was particularly mentioned as having greatly distinguished himself in the battle of Monterey, with Duncan's battery in the battle of Churubusco, and was wounded at the battle of El Moline. In September, 1847, he was promoted to First Lieutenant, and on the 13th of September he received the brevet of Captain " for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battle of Chapultepec." In July, 1848, Captain Clark was appointed Assistant Instructor of artillery and cavalry in the Military Academy at West Point, which position he held for a long time afterward.


WE devote page 534 to illustrations of the Navy-yard at Brooklyn, which is at present a scene of remarkable activity. The Evening Post thus describes the work that is going on :

Nearly twenty-five hundred men are now employed at the Brooklyn Navy-yard, and the number is constantly increasing. At the present rate three thousand men will soon be engaged there; a greater number, perhaps, than were ever before employed within its walls. One year ago the number was less than one thousand. It will be seen, therefore, that the necessities of a state of war have given employment, in this department alone, to many hundreds —probably soon to be extended to thousands—of mechanics, who would otherwise be out of work and their families suffering.

There is on every hand the greatest activity. The whole force of the yard is not engaged in the work of fitting out vessels. On the contrary, but few war ships are at present in the hands of the workmen. Two only are building, the Oneida and Adirondack, of which the keels are scarcely laid. The former will be of about 1300 tons, and the latter somewhat larger, rating with the sloop-of-war Brooklyn. Four or five vessels in all are fitting out, and the work upon them is pushed with the greatest rapidity.

A vast amount of work seems to have been laid out and to be in progress in the different departments which manufacture supplies for the navy. Much forging and blacksmith, tinwork, and coopering is going on. Quantities of ordinary ship's stores are constantly accumulating to supply the extraordinary demands of the present and future; the vast military stores which lie about in every direction are preparing for use, and workmen are engaged in brushing up and fitting with sights the great cannon which are ranged in rows along the main avenue of the yard. The scene is one of the most curious as well as the busiest which has ever been witnessed in that locality.

The steam sloop of war Richmond, which arrived from the Mediterranean on the 3d of July, has been refitted, and is nearly ready to join the blockading squadron. A portion of her armament, which is very heavy—consisting of sixteen 9-inch Dahlgren guns, carrying shot, shell, or canister—has been put on board. It is possible that two other guns of a different class and one or two rifled pieces will be added. The vessel is pierced for twenty-eight guns, but could not carry so great a number. She is a first-class vessel of nearly 2000 tons, and will be a valuable addition to our blockading service. It is intended to get her off to-morrow, but probably she will not be ready. Her complement of men is 350, and she will have an extra number of marines on going again into commission. Her officers are : Captain, John Pope ; Lieutenants, N. C. Bryant, A. B. Cummings, Albert Boyd, Jun.; Master, Edward Terry; Paymaster, George F. Cutler; Surgeon, A. Henderson ; Chief Engineer, John W. Moore.

The gun-boat Harriet Lane is also refitting at the yard, and will be ready to sail in a day or two. Her armament is on board.

The Connecticut (steamship) will have her armament and be ready to sail in a few days. She will be armed with four heavy 32-pounders and one rifled 18-pounder. The last will be placed on the forecastle-deck. She is 1900 tons burden, with very heavy steam power, and will be employed in the transport service in connection with our blockading fleet, making trips monthly. She is to be the consort of the Rhode Island, which recently sailed.

The Potomac, a sailing vessel carrying fifty guns, is also fitting out, and will be ready in ten days.

In about a month four coaling vessels will be prepared to enter upon their work in supplying our squadron. The vessels have been procured, but it is understood that the refitting has not been commenced.

The Iroquois, which has been in search of the privateer Jeff Davis, sailed from the Navy-yard yesterday.

Several United States vessels are in the stream, among them the Vixen, Varina, and Crawford.

Several of these vessels have gone to sea since the above was written.


ON page 533 will be found an illustration of the BRILLIANT CHARGE OF THE UNITED STATES CAVALRY ATTACHED TO GENERAL LYON'S ARMY upon an enormous force of rebel infantry, at the BATTLE OF DUG SPRINGS, on 1st August. The dispatch from Springfield, Missouri, dated August 2, says :

On Thursday news reached here that the enemy were advancing on us, in three columns, with a force numbering 20,000 men. General Lyon immediately set out to meet them with the Second and Third Missouri regiments from this city, the First and Second Kansas regiments, and the First Iowa regiment ; also with two or three companies of regular infantry and two or three companies of regular cavalry from Camp M'Clellan. About twelve miles west of here General Lyon encamped that evening, on Tyrel Creek, and on Friday advanced to Dug Springs, about nineteen miles southwest of Springfield, where he obtained intelligence of the enemy.

A fight took place between four and six o'clock that afternoon. A party of two hundred and seventy of General Lyon's cavalry, as previously reported, were crossing a ridge of high land, partially inclosed on the east by a valley, and, when descending the hill, came upon a large force of the enemy's infantry, variously estimated at from two thousand to four thousand, and being unable to retreat, they charged and cut their way through with the loss of only five men. The lieutenant commanding the cavalry was killed, after killing eight of the rebels. Meantime the enemy appeared in large numbers moving along the valley, but they were put to flight by our artillery. Our infantry was not engaged. The rebels retreated southward, to a place called M'Cullough's Store, on the Fayetteville Road.

The number of rebels found dead on the field amounted to forty, and some forty-four wounded were picked up.

The correspondent of the Herald thus describes the affair :

About nine in the morning, after a march of seven miles, a picket guard of some fifty mounted men was seen, and a shell was thrown among them as a gentle reminder that the Union troops were around. They at once made good time toward the main body, some two miles ahead. Near a place called Dug Spring, about nineteen miles from Springfield, our advanced pickets met those of the enemy and exchanged a few shots. Our cavalry formed in line at the right of the road, and Captain Steele, with two companies of infantry, took the left. Captain Plummer, with three companies of First Infantry, supported by Captain Tatten's battery, held the centre. The enemy was posted in a wood crowning a gentle slope, and covering it to the foot, where the road for half a mile ran through a valley between low hills, or rather "swells" of land, covered with a scanty growth of oak bushes, from one to five feet in height, interspersed with a few small trees. As the rebels' position and numbers were concealed by the wood, General Lyon did not deem it prudent to advance the column within range, as a masked battery might at any moment open upon it with considerable effect, while at the same time our strength would avail us nothing.

For upward of an hour nothing was done save the exchanging of a few shots among the pickets, and at length General Lyon gave the order for the column to fall back and encamp in the vicinity of the spring. This movement was considered by the rebels to be a retreat, and as soon as we were in motion their cavalry made its appearance from the wood and passed to the front of a corn-field which covered their extreme left. Their number was not far from four hundred, and they formed in a solid square preparatory to charging. Just as they were on the point of rushing forward, Captain Totten sent a twelve pound shell from his favorite howitzer ; but the elevation was too great and the missile passed over its mark. A half minute later another shell followed with better success, bursting directly in the centre of the cavalry and emptying some twenty saddles. The whole body made a retreat for the timber in " precipitous and tumultuous haste."

Captain Steele was still on the left, and a body of nearly eight hundred infantry, with a few mounted men, came forward from the enemy's right with the evident intention of engaging and surrounding the Captain's two companies. Company C, of First cavalry, was in the rear (lately front), near Captain Steele and Lieutenant M. J. Kelly, with twenty men from this company, made a Balaklava charge right in the face of the bullets and bayonets of the whole rebel infantry. Four of the twenty were killed and six were wounded, but they succeeded in breaking the infantry and putting them to flight. Four horses were wounded so badly that it was necessary to kill them—one receiving nine, and another eleven rifle balls. One of the men—Sergeant Sullivan—received three terrible, though not fatal, wounds. As he was falling from his horse he waved his sabre, and shouted "Hurrah for the old Stars and Stripes!" When brought to camp he seemed to forget his wounds in his joy at having struck a blow for the Union. One of the enemy's wounded inquired of Lieutenant Kelly, with great earnestness,

"Are your cavalry men or devils!"

The lieutenant replied that it was possible they might be a composition of both.

" Well," said the man, "we can't stand such a charge as that. You can whip us all out if you've got a decent army of such soldiers."

One of our wounded, a private named Jacobs, who was captured by the rebels, was knocked from his horse while a prisoner by a blow from a musket, and left for dead. He was found on the field the next morning and carefully attended to. He will probably recover.

The enemy did not again appear that day, and the command encamped and passed the night in quiet. The utmost care was taken to prevent a surprise during the night by posting pickets in all directions, and arranging the camp with special reference to a defense in the darkness. Major Sturgis was particularly active at all hours, and if the enemy had made an attack they would have met a warm reception.

Camp Warren, Burlington Iowa



site stats


Site Copyright 2003-2018 Son of the South. For Questions or comments about this collection,

contact: paul@sonofthesouth.net

privacy policy

Are you Scared and Confused? Read My Snake Story, a story of hope and encouragement, to help you face your fears.